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Tarrasch V2 Maintenance Release

January 28, 2016

Yesterday I updated with a new Tarrasch V2 release, version V2.03c. I really hope this is the last Tarrasch V2 release. Sometime in the not too distant future Tarrasch V3 will be ready for prime time, and Tarrasch V2 can then gracefully retire.

The changes are small, but might be significant to serious users. In order of significance;

  1. Tarrasch no longer emits semicolon comments. Semicolon comments are part of the .pgn standard but for some reason most (all?) other chess software chokes on them. This was far and away the largest cause of interoperability problems between Tarrasch and other chess software.
  2. The latest version of Stockfish (V7) is included, and is the new default engine.
  3. I’ve changed the Site column in lists of games to Site/Event. The site and event fields are both free form text that can potentially be quite space consuming and I struggled to accommodate both in my game lists. Up until now my “solution” has been to simply omit one of the fields. My improved approach is to show one or the other, with a simple radio button to select. I must admit I only recognised this as a real problem when I set about curating a chess database for my local club. All 2000 plus games were played at the Wellington Chess Club, and it was rather pointless seeing this (site) information only, when the tournament name (i.e. event) was more varied and revealing. If you are interested you can see the resulting database here. Creating this database was incidentally a job much better suited to Tarrasch V3 than V2. I am really looking forward to providing users with a much improved program soon so they can enjoy the benefits as well.
  4. I’ve added a new option (menu Options > General) at the request of long time supporter David Beagan. This option accommodates your preference if you like to go straight to the first game when you open a .pgn file, without presenting a list of games. David asked me for this literally years ago, and I only recently realised I had completely misunderstood him and provided something quite different instead. Totally my fault and my apologies to David.
  5. I’ve updated some help text (menu Options > Engine > Help) with an explanation on how to de-power Stockfish if you want to play against it without being smashed every time.

As always, you can painlessly install this new version over the top of an existing Tarrasch V2 release without any need to do any preparation. All your existing preferences will be respected, including engine. So if you want to change to Stockfish V7 you will need to select it from menu Options > Engine. Alternatively you can restore factory defaults from menu Options, but of course that way you will lose any custom settings you may have made.


7 Comments leave one →
  1. istolacio permalink
    January 30, 2016 11:47 am

    Thanks for the update.
    The no install version includes StockFish 6, not StockFish 7

    • January 30, 2016 7:36 pm

      Goodness me, this is very embarrassing, thank you for pointing it out. In fact it was even worse than that – somehow I had managed to upload a renamed version of the old no install version instead of the actual no install version. I rushed the whole process and didn’t check properly afterwards.

      If you downloaded the no install version in the last few days, please try again. Profound apologies.

  2. March 4, 2016 2:43 pm

    I’m at a loss how to control the time with this game. How do you set a simple think time of 10 sec per side? Thanks

    • April 17, 2016 12:23 am

      Doing a little blog maintenance… For the record this message led to an exchange of emails and a new feature for Tarrasch, so far implemented in a private build but due to merge into Tarrasch at the next release.

      • April 17, 2016 11:59 am

        I’ve got the private build and I’m lovin it! I really appreciate being able to set the machine’s think time to 5 sec, 10 sec, etc. to gradually increase its difficulty level. Hopefully I might someday be able to set it to 3 minutes, the average time for 40 moves in 120 minutes as to play like in a tournament. It would be nice if in the next build this set fixed time feature could be on a menu separate from your normal tournament setup menu. That would make it very simple for a beginner.

  3. A Fan permalink
    May 4, 2016 3:59 pm

    It’s been a while since I checked your blog and was pleasantly surprised when I saw an update to V2. It was the help text on how to de-power Stockfish that really got me to download it, otherwise I was quite happy with the version I had.

    Looking forward to the limit by time option. I’ve encountered both limit by time and limit by ply options. I’m not sure how difficult the implementation of the latter would be, but I had felt it was a more precise way to incrementally increase strength of an engine e.g. a jump of 5 seconds/move to 10 for TarraschToyEngine may not make it much stronger but for Stockfish, even a 1 second increase would make it an utter nightmare.

    I’m also curious how much feedback you get regarding annotations on V2. I have to admit this is probably the least-used feature for me and the main reason is that if you have a heavily annotated game and attempt to edit the annotations, the program appears to slow down considerably. I hope this only occurs for me on my decade-old piece of junk but it might be worth looking into.

    Will try out the V3 demo too and post some comments on that.

    As always, thanks for this great work.

    • May 4, 2016 10:28 pm

      You’re not the first person to notice that editing heavily annotated games becomes slow 🙂 When I last looked at this problem I tracked it to the wxWidgets richtext edit control which does a lot of the heavy lifting for me, but which suffers performance problems if there are multiple levels of indenting. The version of wxWidgets I am using is now very old, and I have some spring-cleaning plans that will see this finally updated. I am really hoping this will make a big difference.

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